foolproof way to transplant seedlings

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by Cakes, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Cakes

    Cakes Member

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    Northern California, USA
    Protecting your plants for three days after you transplant them makes the difference between life and death for them in my experience.

    And if you grow your seedlings inside- try it you'll like it- they turn out really well if you use fluorescent shop lights at 1in/2.5cm- but if you do grow them inside, then you need to harden them off before you put them in the ground outside.

    Like this:
    Over the course of a week, gradually increase the time outside and the exposure to the sun. start with one hour. You can use dappled shade under trees to help them get acclimated and/or a positioning that allows an hour or two of sun and then brings on shade. Water them very well before you put them outside for the day and cover the roots if you think they might get hot or dry.

    When the time comes for transplanting to the ground, continue to protect your seedlings for a few days more (after you plant them) by shading them from the sun<this seriously works.

    They need shade and water for three days but after that they will survive.

    It's because their roots need a few days to set up house and while they are doing that it is easy for the plants to dehydrate. The best shelter will give the plant a little sun in the morning and then dappled shade as the day gets warmer, full shade during mid day and maybe a little more dappled sun in the cooler afternoon.

    A good way to give them shade is with wire cages that you drape long grasses over<the grass gives great adjustable shade but watch out for wind i guess if you live in Kansas. Using a cage as a base helps to give a little extra safety against dogs, rabbits and garden loving two year olds<good luck with that.

    or, Instead of cages, you can use folding chairs or some tree branches stuck in the ground to shade your transplants. Be careful your shelters don't collapse or get blown over by the wind and crush your seedlings. Dig them in, pin them down with long U hooks <best and/or anchor them with a few big rocks or bricks.

    Transplanting on cloudy days helps and so does using late afternoons after the heat of the day has passed (provides a full night's head start before the sun comes back on duty). If you get a stretch of cloudy days then you might not have to give your seedlings shade at all<but it's rare, maybe one year in seven?

    "Water in" your transplants too. As soon as they are in the ground, use some fertilizer water and Soak It, soak the whole stadium thoroughly good.

    Soak them and protect them from the sun for three whole days.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2006

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